The bright lights of Broadway will be dazzling Harlem on Oct. 22, when a cast of almost two dozen of the finest African-American performing artists-all of whom have starred in major productions locally, nationally and internationally-will stage two unforgettable concerts for a good cause.

They’ll be making a joyful noise in two stagings of “A Matinee in Harlem” at St. James Presbyterian Church (located at the corner of 141st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue) to raise funds to repair the Harlem landmark. Hurricane Irene, with its fierce winds and drenching rain, served notice that repairs are long overdue.

The top-flight troupe, a veritable who’s who of African-Americans in the performing arts, “has come together just for this purpose,” said Linda Twine, herself no slouch in the music world. A composer, conductor and arranger with an impressive list of credits as music director for a roster of Broadway hits and high-powered concerts, Twine and Tony Award-winning choreographer and director George Faison are the driving forces behind the fundraising event.

“We’re all excited about being in the same place at the same time, feeding off each other’s energy. It’s going to be a great gathering, and the audiences will get to be up close and personal with the performers. We can’t wait,” said Twine, who also is music director at St. James.

Spirituals, opera, vaudeville, blues, jazz, pop, interpretive dance and showstopping torch songs from Black Broadway musicals are all on the thrilling program-a timeline of the African-American cultural experience. Audiences will be “properly and thoroughly entertained,” Twine guarantees.

Expect outstanding performances from icons Barbara Mills, Ben Brown, Gayle Turner, James Alexander, Janinah Burnett, Joseph Joubert, Larry Marshall, Lawrence Hamilton, NaTasha Williams, Oscar Maxwell III, Phillip Boykin, Priscilla Baskerville, Randall Haywood, Richard Bellazzin, Richard Waits, Roslyn Burrough, Teresa Stanley, Victor Trent Cook and Yusha-Marie Sorzano.

Two shows are scheduled for “A Matinee in Harlem” at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets for general seating-there’s not a bad seat in the house!-are $35. Group rates are available. Call (212) 470-3603 or email

“A Matinee in Harlem” is presented by the Women of St. James Presbyterian Church and is proudly supported by the New York Amsterdam News.